Mini Reviews, Part 1: Ayn Rand, A.A. Milne and Kate Chopin

Instead of worry about writing giant reviews of every book I’ve read during my three-month lull, I’ve decided to bring you mini reviews of everything we’ve missed. Going forward, retaining mini reviews as a regular feature might be something to consider; it might help relieve some of the pressure on my end to report on every book I read, especially considering my already crazy workload and little free time. Plus, I need to shake up how I review books. Sometimes the long, free form essay-form gets old, and it’s not exactly reader friendly. I want to experiment with how I write, and I think this is a good first step.

As part of that effort, I’m also introducing grades into my reviews. I think it makes it easier for readers to see how I felt about the book quickly. Plus, it might force me to decide how I felt without all the wishy-washy yammering.

Without further ado, here’s the first batch of reviews. Enjoy:

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

I had a lot to say about Atlas Shrugged when I was reading it. Unfortunately, when I started reading it was still 2010, so now I’ve forgotten many of those “deep,” “important” thoughts. That being said, I enjoyed reading the story of Dagny Taggart and even found Ayn Rand’s special brand of Objectivism strangely fascinating. That’s not saying I was totally taken in; no, it’s clear Rand uses extremes to her advantage. She’s not exactly depicting the real world, which is important to remember when deciding whether to adopt Rand’s radical philosophy. In the end, besides John Galt’s 50-page manifesto, the story was compelling, the writing excellent, and I even felt myself cheering for the self-centered, capitalistic Dagny. Plus, now I can say I’ve finished another brick of a book—another check off the life list!

  • Genre: Fiction
  • Year: 1957
  • Project: Big Books
  • Lists: None
  • Grade: B+

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

I rewarded myself for reading 800+ pages of Ayn Rand with Winnie-the-Pooh. Yes, I read classic children’s books—what about it? I don’t believe I’ve ever done much beyond watch a few Winnie-the-Pooh movies as a kid, so I wasn’t familiar with many of the traditional stories by A.A. Milne. They were cute, if not a little disturbing. I mean, seriously: in “In Which We Are Introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh and Some Bees,” Pooh is hanging from a balloon and Christopher Robin shoots at him with a gun; when Pooh gets stuck in Rabbit’s hole, they decide to starve him until he’s skinny enough to wiggle out; they attach Eeyore’s tail with a nail and hammer. Definitely not Dora the Explorer. Still, Winnie the Pooh is on all the lists of literary classics, so it was worth it for that reason alone.

  • Genre: Children’s Literature
  • Year: 1926
  • Project: None
  • Lists: Newsweek’s Top 100 Books,
  • Grade: B

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

The Awakening is one of my favorite books of all time, and re-reading it just solidified this belief even more. It’s an easy read—I’m surprised every time by how quickly it goes—but I simply love it. A beautiful writer, Kate Chopin tells an eloquent story of a woman awakened to her own individuality, sexual desires and sense of self. Certainly no feminist tract, but I feel it touches on everything I believe in as a woman.

  • Genre: Fiction, novella
  • Year: 1899
  • Project: Favorites Project
  • Lists: None
  • Grade: A+

One thought on “Mini Reviews, Part 1: Ayn Rand, A.A. Milne and Kate Chopin

  1. Pingback: Idiots doing idiot things, because they’re idiots « Paperback Fool

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